I have started rewatching Dawson's Creek. Right now I'm only into the first couple of episodes of season one but it's been making me have all kinds of emotions. Dawson's Creek was the soundtrack to my youth. My 90210. My “My So-Called Life”. When they were 15 – I was 15. When they were debating first times and first love I was experiencing the same things; minus the big big words. Our words were more medium sized in comparison. Even the score brings up a ton of stuff. Great stuff. Amazing stuff. Amazing firsts and the excitement of being a teenager and discovering these fantastic feelings. (Also, the score is just great.) And I was really lucky, feelings-wise.
I remember when I was 13 and had a huge crush on this guy I met in language school in the UK. He was five years older and about to leave to go home in a couple of days so I didn't figure I had a chance. Being the impossibly straightforward and honest me I told him how I felt anyways. Super-embarrassing. So I was very surprised when he kissed me. It felt like the world had come crashing down around me. I remember thinking whether I was really supposed to feel this sick; the butterflies were going crazy in my stomach. He was sweet and gentle and we spent a wonderful night at the pier sitting on the summery warm asphalt of the deserted pier with our friends, loudly singing “Winds of Change” and other campfire songs. I caught our friends' smirks when we moved a little away from the group to hug and kiss. Sure, it sounds cliché but it was a magical night. I completely forgot about time, missed curfew even (for the first and only time in my life). Not even my host-dad's anger at my being late could get me off the cloud I was blissfully floating on. I stayed on that cloud while we did the long distance thing for a couple of months. And one day I broke it off, and it was okay.
About two years later I stumbled into my real Dawson's Creek. My first proper boyfriend. The drama. The angst. The wonder. The utter newness of it all. We broke up and got back together what feels like a million times. I probably put the poor guy through hell. But we also had some really amazing times. We were so utterly clueless that our first time ended in a lot of laughter and not much else. We did get around to "doing it" eventually, but that is not what I remember most. What I remember is the amount of fun we had that time when we were NOT having sex.
We lasted quite a while. And when it was over I was prepared to be single for a while. I was probably even looking forward to it, I can't remember that now. But after a long night at a ball where I danced my feet off, when I was just walking down the stairs in my borrowed blue dress, I met this beautiful boy. We talked for merely five minutes but somehow walked away with each other's phone numbers. We met up for a mostly blind date about two weeks later. But when I looked at him I realized just how easy on the eyes he was. We talked for eight hours, he even secretly texted one of his best friends who inconspicuously "dropped by" to check this new girl out. He told me all about how he'd never had a relationship but instead this chick he booty called regularly. And still I kissed him for the first time that very same night. And he never booty called her again. In fact, he didn’t even look at another woman for the next year. Month 13 and 14 things got more difficult and in the end he broke my heart. Terribly. And it didn't heal for a long time and maybe it never properly has. But we had that one great year. When he told me he loved me. Told me that he wasn’t the jealous type but how he thought that had changed when he met me. That I could be the woman who could make him want to marry. The year when friends of his would tell me how much he had changed for the better since he'd met me. The year when he randomly told my friend at a party just how fucking much he loved me – elaborately! Rumor has it he even shed a tear or two. And as much as all of it hurt I wouldn't want to miss it for the world.
I also remember my first girlfriend. Gods, she was a catastrophe! Nonetheless she was the first woman I slept with so it was special. The sex wasn't particularly good but it was life-changing. A whole new world had opened up for me. In one night I learned so much about who I really was and why I had always felt a bit incomplete. Our relationship was as much a catastrophe as she on her own was, especially when we got back together after I had ended it painstakingly. But how we got back together was another one of those great moments. It was movie-esque! A friend had dragged us both to the same dance club, purposefully trying to get us back together. And when the DJ played this schmaltzy Italian love song it worked out just the way she had planned. We slow danced, kissed and were back together for another couple of weeks. Should we have left it at that kiss? Sure. But back then I didn't know better so I was in for another round of the catastrophe relationship. And then I had to break up with her. Again.
There are a couple of others I remember.
The wonderfully hunky cricket player I took home at my internship in the north of England and the shock of my straight-laced flatmate when he figured out that “Andie had a man in her room last night!”. Quelle horreur!
The guy that never was a relationship although we danced around it for months and who only halfway made it into my bed (and the only one that made it out untouched, well mostly).
The married man that was so soft spoken I couldn't stop talking to him and looked so deeply into my eyes I couldn't stop staring at him. It never went anywhere but that doesn't matter.
Whether I was 13, 15, 17 or 20 – these are the feelings that Dawson's Creek takes me back to. All I have to do is watch the opening titles and hear Paula Cole sing “I don't want to wait” and my heart skips a beat and I get all fuzzy inside. It makes me miss the excitement. It makes me melancholic. But it also makes me really happy to have experienced these amazing things, at exactly the right time in my life. And that is something wonderful to remember when I lie down in bed next to my wonderful wife each night.
If you're in my age bracket you will enjoy this as well.